Kale, as I’ve written about it, can be one of the most versatile leafy greens around. You can make a pesto, you can make a slaw, you can throw it in your smoothies or salads and you can even make chips with them. It’s nutritiously dense and full of minerals and vitamins that help make it the superfood that it is. Kale chips are one of the tastiest creations you can transform kale into. Kale chips are the kind of snack that floats into and out of my life like snow. I’ve never really been into them, for some reason I prefer kale raw. But in August when we went camping to the Bruce’s Peninsula, something changed. I had asked my boyfriend to go to the local farmers market to pick up some greens for our trip and he came home with 4 huge bunches of kale – I mean the total weight of these bunches must have weighed 10 pounds. There was so much kale I didn’t know what to do with it, I knew my friends wouldn’t be too thrilled with me if I fed them salads 3 x per day (although we ate quite a lot of greens) while we were camping so I decided to make kale chips and we eventually enjoyed them one afternoon after our hike along on the Bruce Trail.
The key ingredient to making kale chips is time. This is such a great snack to make on a Sunday or any day when you find you have time on your hands and wanting to accomplish something. It can take up to 2 hours for the kale chips to be ready (longer if you have a dehydrator!). Don’t worry – the wait is so worth it. AND when you make kale chips at home it’s may more economical. Kale is in season right now and you can get a huge bunch of organic kale for as little as $2 – and that bunch can make a huge tub of kale chips that can last up to a week!
In addition to time, you want to massage your kale! Seriously, this is what takes kale to the next level. Massaging the leaves softens them by breaking down the strong fibres, and releases the bitter taste of kale, it even changes to a deeper green colour. At this point add a bit of celtic sea salt for seasoning and minerals and you can throw this into your salad or, as we are doing today make chips with them!
Finally the third key ingredient is the low temperature. Essentially we are going to dehydrate the kale – extract the water by heat but a low temperature so the enzymes, minerals and vitamins in the kale are still bio-available. The best way to do this is with a dehydrator. But if you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use your oven on the lowest temperature, which is what I did.
When you start getting comfortable with the flavours, you can add other herbs and seasonings to change-up the taste! Today I have to share with you two flavours: Classic Kale Chips, and Cheezy Kale Chips. Both are plant-based and extremely flavourful – they do not last at our house!
Classic Kale Chips
- 1 bunch of curly kale – about 6-7 kale leaves
- 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), depending on how large your bunch of kale
- Sea Salt to taste
Cheezy Kale Chips
- 1 bunch of curly kale
- 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon dijon or grainy mustard
- Sea Salt to taste
- Preheat your oven to the lowest setting usually it is 170F
- De-stemm your kale and rip or cut into 1 inch pieces.
- In a bowl massage the kale with olive oil until the kale turns a darker green colour, add salt and other seasonings to taste.
- On a baking sheet, place kale evenly but only one layer. Depending on the size of your baking sheet, and how large your bunch of kale was, you may need to do this part in batches or on two baking sheets. Place baking sheets in the oven for about 1.5-2 hours.